Huskies shut down Newport in fourth quarter for 56-42 win

A tough Newport squad built a decent lead against the Husky boys basketball team, but the Huskies scratched their way back to a three-point deficit just in time for the Cubs’ shooting to fizzle in the fourth quarter.

The Huskies won the game 56-42 at home Friday night.

Newport led the Huskies 16-12 at the end of the first quarter, and Colton Emmert had picked up two fouls along the way, benching him for the second period.

Newport quickly built a 12-point lead and with about two minutes left in the half, the Cubs held a 26-15 lead. Ryan Graville hit a three. Gabe Kauffman hit another bucket and drew a foul to score three and close the gap to 26-21. He added another basket to get within three.

After burning another 20 seconds off the clock, Kauffman scored a jumper to close the deficit to 26-25. With just four seconds left, Newport brought the ball up over the half-court line and scored on a prayer at the buzzer to take a 29-25 lead into the locker room.

The Cubs held onto their small lead throughout the quarter, leading 41-38 at the end. But Newport’s shooting iced up, and the team would score only one more time, a single free throw near the end of the game.

Emmert began the fourth quarter by hitting the second of a pair of free throws to open a massive Husky run. Kauffman came up with a defensive board at the other end of the court, and Emmert hit a shot to tie the game 41-41.

Josh Riggs knocked the ball loose on Newport’s next possession. Leaning precariously over the baseline, Riggs called for a timeout before he finished falling out of bounds, securing the Huskies’ possession.

Kauffman hit a short jumper to take a 43-41 lead. Newport couldn’t make a shot go down for the next five minutes.

“We made one small change defensively with our match-ups and talked at the quarter about intensity,” Coach Tim Little said.

The Huskies put Levi Marchbanks in to defend Newport’s perimeter attack, Little said, and he did a great job helping to ice the Cubs from outside. Marchbanks fouled with 42 seconds left, and Newport was able to add one more point before the end of the game.

“That one change just helped them get a little impatient and force up some shots,” Little said. “(Marchbanks is) not known for perimeter defense, but he just raised his intensity level.”

“Once we got the lead and Newport had to man us up, we pretty much ran them into the ground.”

The Huskies committed no turnovers in the fourth quarter, Little said. “Our defense just kind of gave them fits. It’s just like we predicted. With our league, everybody can beat everybody.”

The Newport win was big, Little said. Newport now holds a 13-4 record, and a Husky win against such a tough team is a sign “we can be a team to be reckoned with at state.”

It was a chance to start defining the 2007-08 Huskies, Little said; and as long as they put their noses to the grind and play consistently, they will.

Kauffman accrued a season-high 14 rebounds against Newport, seven of them in the fourth quarter against one of the best rebounding teams in the state, Little said. Riggs and Jerad Olsen also set season-high rebound statistics.

Kauffman led Husky scoring with 24 points. Emmert added 15; Graville, 10; Riggs, four; Olsen, three; and Marchbanks, two. Brent Moyer, Drew Emmert and Dustin Hay played but did not score.

Palmer led Newport scoring with 15 points. Konklin added 10; Skeiver, seven; Torlund, four; Iverson, four; and Crowe, two.

After playing at Central Tuesday, the Huskies host Philomath at home on Friday to start the second round of league. The Warriors defeated the Huskies by three points at Philomath the last time the two teams faced off.

Newport is leading the league with a 3-1 record followed by Sweet Home and Philomath, each with a 2-1 record. Central holds a 1-3 record, and Taft is 0-3.